“As God as my witness, he is broken in half!!”
Damn, I’m old!! 47 years old to be exact. Most of the guys I watched as a child have died, moved into management, or rode off into the sunset. Growing up in the heart of the Mid South/World Class Wrestling Area, I had the pleasure of watching many Hall of Famers cut their teeth in the business. Always sitting front row in the local auditorium, packed out with 500+ screaming fans, I witnessed the Junkyard Dog and Mr. Olympia defeat Afa and Sika, the Somoans. Paul Orndorff and Ted DiBiase in a first blood match. The Rock n’ Roll Express in a 2 out of 3 falls victory over Jake Roberts and the Barbarian. Freebird Buddy Roberts and Iceman Parsons in a Country Whipping Strap Match. Hacksaw Duggan and One Man Gang in a falls count anywhere match. I’ve got plenty of memories. Anyone remember Marty Lunde? I do!
There was one match I will always remember, the main event of a World Class event featuring the most popular WCCW wrestler at the time, Kerry Von Erich. I remember his opponent was a new guy to the territory, a scruffy looking fella, big fat boy. (Wasn’t half the rosters in that time real porkers?) He entered the building from the side door that all the heels came in from. “Who’s that Grandma?” My Grandmother was sooo cool. A real wrasslin’ fan. She didn’t know what the hell Sports Entertainment meant; she just knew these guys were tough SOB’s that didn’t seem to get along real good. And she had to be there to see where the dust would settle. And she wanted me to go with her.
The guy that entered the ring was Cactus Jack. “Bang Bang” he said. And the fight was on. Although our hero KVE would prevail in the end, it was clear to me, the guy that carried the match, the guy that left a lasting impression, was Mick Foley.
Now I don’t pretend to be a huge Cactus Jack/Dude Love/Mankind mark. I was always a Jake Roberts kind of guy. (Master of the mic in those days) But in retrospect, seeing one of his earliest matches as a headliner, and following his career into retirement, I’m clearly a bigger fan than I realized.
His 1998 match with Undertaker at King of the Ring, is still in my mind the “must see” match of my lifetime. There may have been better wrestling matches or outcomes, (I still have a place in my heart for when Edge cashed in his money in the bank for the 1st time against a battered John Cena) but for the train wreck that it was, there’s none better. I have re-watched this match more times than any other.
His “I Quit” match with the Rock is also in my top 5. Just how many times did the Rock hit him with that damn chair?
And one of the greatest interviews of all time, the ECW famous “Cane Dewey” segment. Brilliant! Mick Foley is truly a Hall of Fame Performer.
The Wrestling kinda gets a lil fuzzy from my childhood thru high school and college. I was way too busy with women and Bud Light to remember much of the early Raw years. But like most guys, I settled down with a good woman and started a family. The Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars grabbed my attention, and I was drawn right back into the fold. Action figures became the new sensation and my son got everyone of them that came out. (He has well over 250 of them now) For his 7th birthday, I took him to our 1st WWF event, a Smackdown taping. The Rock did his famous “this cameraman THINKS he’s gonna win the Royal Rumble” segment. The main event featured Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H in his 1st match off major surgery against Kurt Angle and Booker T. Y2J was recently crowned the 1st unified champion. It was enough to hook him for life.
Flash forward to the present, following dozens of live events attended, hundreds of videos purchased, my son and I are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. NEW ORLEANS, WRESTLEMANIA XXX and all the trimmings that go with it. (Wrestlecon, Dragongate, K Big Battel, Axxcess) His 21st birthday will be celebrated on Bourbon Street at the granddaddy of them all. Wrestling is Camden Fordyce, and I’m proud to be a part of Inside Pulse.
Tags: Cactus Jack, Kerry Von Erich, Mick Foley, mid south, WCCW, wrestlemania, Wrestlemania 30, WrestleMania XXX